Today more than ever we are paying a price for our consumption of diet, fake, processed foods. Processed foods are packaged, canned, frozen with cheap artificial ingredients, flavour enhancers or they are chemically treated. It’s convenient, inexpensive, and 90% of North American’s spend money on processed foods, so what’s the problem?
Processed foods creates a rapid rise in blood sugar that activates the hypocretin neurons in the brain that leads to tiredness.
It contains excess sugar, calories, sodium, trans fats with no natural fiber, which is a combination that triggers appetite that makes it difficult to control it.
It contains hidden artificial ingredients.
It is nutrient deficient.
It is higher in calories.
The additives contained in processed foods enhance flavor, extends shelf life and alters your taste buds so an addiction to salt, fat and sugar is the result.
Are you interested in losing weight?
According to research people who consume a diet high in processed foods have higher body fat and find it more difficult to lose weight no matter what they do.
Below we have outlined reasons why it may be time to move towards adding more real foods in your diet.
Research conducted among 120,000 Americans showed that those whose diet centered around refine grains, candy, sodas, chips and processed meat, tend to be overweight compared to those whose diet centered around fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and real cheese.
A study performed in Brazil based on a diet of nearly 1600 calories linked an increased in body fat percentage to a diet whereby at least 25% of calories came from processed foods. The foods examined in the study included soda, chips, bread, pizza, cereal, margarine, pasta, sweets and processed meats.
Are you aware that you can actually consume more foods in its natural state when leaning towards a whole food diet and still lose weight?
In 2011, a study found that participants burned 50% more calories after consuming a whole food sandwich (whole grain and full fat cheese) versus a processed sandwich (white bread with processed cheese). Here is something you need to be aware of, both meals total calories were the same.
Once the study concluded, researchers suggested a whole food diet made sense to increase calorie burning.
Whole food refers to fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, milk, dairy, 100% whole grains with minimal chemical influence such as pesticides, dyes, artificial ingredients etc.
Other health reasons to avoid processed foods:
Type 2 Diabetes
High Blood Pressure
Children Developmental Issues
Shorter Life Span
Highly processed ingredients in commercial foods are:
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) associated with Chinese foods is also found in chips, salad dressings and frozen dinners.
High fructose corn syrup it can only be filtered by your liver so if you consume the typical North American diet high in processed foods you are damaging your liver. It also gets stored in your fat cells leading to obesity.
Synthetic Trans Fats
Refined sugar is linked to inflammation
Artificial sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, acesulfame potassium or sucralose tricks the brain to crave sweets more.
Artificial colors or food dyes
Vegetable oil such as canola, soybean
Sodium Benzoate and Potassium Benzoate is linked to thyroid damage
Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) is a major endocrine disruptor. It’s a cancer causing preservative and is found in 100’s of foods.
Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites are preservatives found in processed meat such as bacon, hot dogs and lunch meat. It’s believed to be linked to colon cancer, diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
Artificial colors blue, green, yellow and red is linked to thyroid, kidney, bladder, adrenal and brain cancer.
Artificial Flavors (what does that actually mean?)
The secret to better health and weight loss is, eat real food
Try to phase out certain products or ingredients, or cut down on the number of habitually consumed processed foods you buy. Begin replacing your usual highly refined foods with real food, making substitutions gradually.
To learn how to experience the long term benefits of avoiding processed foods click here to learn more.
Monteiro, C, Levy, R et al. Increasing consumption of ultra processed foods and likely impact on human health. Brazil, Public Health Nutrition, 2011 14(1), 5-13
Mozaffarian, D, et al. Change in diet and lifestyle and long term weight gain in women and men. New England Journal of Medicine, 2012. 364: 2392-2404
Asfaw, A. Does consumption of processed foods explain disparities in the body weight of individuals?
The case of Guatemala. Health Economics 2011, 20: 194-205
Kristensen, M;, Toubro, S, et al. Whole grain compared with refined wheat decreases the percentage of body fat following a 12 week study: Energy restricted dietary intervention in postmenopausal women. Journal of Nutrition. 2012. 142(4), 710-716
Williams, Peter. Evaluation of the evidence between consumption of refined grains and health outcomes. Nutrition Reviews. 2011. 70(2), 80-99
Hiu, J., La Vecchia, C, et al. Salt, processed meat and the risk of cancer. European journal of cancer prevention, 2011. 20(2), 132-139